cover
Nic A.

Nic A.

Joined on 07/23/05

0
0

Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 6
Most Favorable Review

This is the best keyboard in the WORLD!!!11!1(one)

SIIG JK-US0412-S1 USB See Details Slim Aluminum Keyboard with Hub
SIIG JK-US0412-S1 USB See Details Slim Aluminum Keyboard with Hub

Pros: slim. comfortable. reasonably quiet. USB hub. Media Keys. Metal casing. HARD STEEL KEY REFRAIN PANEL!!!

Cons: Has alcoholism (Will drink your unattended Jegermeister if given the opportunity).

Overall Review: This was the best keyboard I have ever owned. I have had MANY grand days of typing out my many illicit URLs and keying in 4chan flame comments with this grand master of keyboards... One day, after a rather fitful respnce to a newf** on /b and in a rage enduced fit of wanted style retrobution on a friend, I successfully recreated the "Wanted" Scene where the protagonist managed to spell out the phrase "F**K YOU" with the broken keys of his smashed keyboard and a tooth. the only difference was the fact this SIIG keyboard defiantly did NOT surrender its keys to flight. Nay, it angrily growled as I slammed it back on my desk and continued rage-fully fisting its manly keys to the tacking roll of hate-mail. Truely this was the best of my input devices untill that fateful day... I had pored myself a feisty tumbler of Jagermeister and prepared to hammer away at another bile filled retort to human inanity when my bowels demanded my undivided attention... upon returning to my desk, the keyboard had inexplicably DRANK MY JAGER!!! It was then that I learned of the SIIG keyboards greatest weekness... hard alcohol. So I did what any good troll would do in my position, reenacted my favorite "Wanted" Scene again on the OTHER side of my friends face and sent the keyboard to a reputable addiction clinic. Last I heard it had escaped the clinic and is now living in a dump with a herd of hobos... tragic... So in closing, really great keyboard, just remember the rules; keep it out of the light, don't feed it after midnight, and don't get it wet. I WILL be getting a replacement or 10 of these bad boys!

Most Critical Review
areca ARC-1220 PCI-Express x8 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card
areca ARC-1220 PCI-Express x8 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card

Pros: good operational performance. functions transparent to the OS.

Cons: no drive encryption support. SLOW TO POST!!!

Overall Review: this raid controller, like every other arecca controller I have owned, has one, and ONLY one fatal flaw. the time it takes to post. this controller takes 45 secconds to post and in a workstation that takes less than 10 seconds to post, boot, and launch firefox. this is somewhat off-putting. I know this controller is meant for server environments, and for that function/roll, I'd say this card is borderline OK. the lack of FDE support when most if not all HDDs on the market now support self encryption is ridiculous. and yet, all this I could forgive if not for the fact that the controller died less than a year into operation. the controller will post fine, and I can see my drives fine as well, the problem is that it keeps dropping my raid 5 array. I had to rebuild the array every day untill I gave up and changed to an LVM array on the motherboards onboard sata controller. it's bad when software raid outstripes hardware... for the price, I'd expect more.

this case is quite aceptable...

Cooler Master Cosmos II - Ultra Tower Computer Case with Metal Body and Hinged Side Panels
Cooler Master Cosmos II - Ultra Tower Computer Case with Metal Body and Hinged Side Panels

Pros: Spacious interior. HDD location options are far more customizable than any other case on the market at this time. Durable hardened metal frame. plenty of cableing and accessory options internally. Cable management problems from the cosmos chassis have been completely resolved. there are standard mount posts for fans, radiators, and all sorts of cooling peripherals, you will NEVER have to mod this case to add ANY kind of cooling... unless you are a crazy person that needs a very specific kind of cooler configuration...

Cons: The only real problem with this chassis is the hot-swap HDD bays... they suck... hard. First the bays do not have removable trays, so your HDD is going in raw, this wouldn't be a problem if the eject mechanism wasn't dependent on leverage applied from the PLASTIC doors. first attempt to remove a HDD I had popped in, BROKE THE DOOR. I literally was not able to apply enough pressure to the drive to release it from the port without breaking the door. I removed the entire bay before I even tried because I suspected this would happen. I tried and tried to figure out the proper removal method to get the drives in and out without breaking it... not possible. I do this kind of thing for a living people, I promise. there is NO WAY this is NOT a design flaw!!! I literally can not believe at least 80% of the users that bought this case are NOT having this issue. this leads me to my last complaint... the hot-swap bays are NOT standard dimensions. the component is actually one and a half height 2.25" bay. In other words, not only is this thing junk, there is no device out there I can use to replace it with... seeing as how this chassis only has three 2.25" bays to begin with, this SERIOUSLY hampers the usability of the case. In my case, I have 2 optical drives, a media card reader, and a raid controller bay interface, and a 6x2.5 drive back-plane... I literally cant use all my hardware. and if you are a water cooler nut, forget about using your multi-bay water cooling control peripherals if you plan to use any optical drives or audio bay peripherals. right now, I am looking to getting a pair of slimline optical drives and a dual slimline to 5.25" bay adapter. that and modding the chassis a bit (drill some mounting holes, grind down a pair of existing mounting stand-offs that are in the way, and build a custom half height 2.25" bay cover) I'll be able to stuff my 6 drive back-plane into the space used for that worthless hot-swap kit and still use my regular peripherals... Cooler-master, I'm not removing an egg for that hot-swap bay... in return, do you think your designers could come up with a peripheral alternative to that location? I'm thinking a 6 to 8 bay 2.5" drive back-plane device (similar to this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817999023) heck you could even make your own control panel for water cooling, media controls, or even a media card reader to fit into that bay. something--ANYTHING would be better than that lump of plastic you call a "Hot-swap HDD Bay"

Overall Review: After dealing with the Hot swap bay problem, this case is pretty good. the only real complaint some people may have (barring they aren't tweenagers who have no concept of elegant design---I'm reminded of those kids who drive around in those modded ford escorts with the whale fin...) the case is wider in the front than the back giving it a bloated whale look... not very symmetrical in this regard. I don't care HOW hard cooler-master was trying to model this after the look of a sports car. it's a computer chassis. these devices are APPLIANCES. they need to fit into cubical type spaces like furniture, I'm not parking my Porsche in my bedroom. I can and will forgive them this as frankly I set it next to my desk which is equally large and flamboyant so it actually looks good. however, unless you have six 22" displays racked to a fully height adjustable engineering bench and counted with a 4 U tower racked 3000vA UPS, your computer just will look like a giant tumor next to your pathetically under sized I/O peripherals. Think Moby dick lashed to Ahab.

great board...

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD7 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX AMD Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD7 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: good performance. no need to update firmware out of box. supports my proc, video card, and raid controller.

Cons: not enough sata ports, onboard raid is software raid, has problems handing off to areca raid firmware if there is no PS2 keyboard attached.

Overall Review: this board is great when compaired to any other board in the AM3 category. however like just about every other board it has some issues to consider. first off, if you use an add-in raid controller, you MUST use a PS/2 keyboard to enter the raid bios to make changes. otherwise the system will hard freeze. Another thing to consider is the lack of on-board hardware raid. My arecca 1220 failed a while ago so I tried to use the onboard raid... the problem is the raid options is not hardware raid but host based raid (hardware/software hybrid where the raid functions are handled by the system processor via a driver installed in the PE) I run Arch Linux so the onboard raid is not usable/compatible. I ended up using a software raid solution with LVM to get arround this... not really a con, but definitely something to be aware of. Finally, if you plan to use more than 8 sata devices (I have 2x SSDs(root) 3x 1.5TB(home) 1x SSD (boot) 2x sata DVD drives, 2x external sata connections and an extra 700GB HDD for an alternate boot drive for the wife) this board may come up short. with my old raid controller this was a non issue, but when that failed, things got cramped quickly. other than all my gripes above this board worked great, I have been running it for over 12 months strait with no issues other than the raid failure which was not the fault of the MB. Some things to know: This board seems to run better with virtualization options enabled. not sure if this applies to you windows users, but something to consider. This board DOES work well with eyefinity support but the catalyst driver has a tendancy to see a superfluous HDMI audio connector that is not present. this is NOT a problem with the driver or the video card. it looks like there is some left over sound components in the southbridge for an HDMI sound controller that was not installed... just ignore it. again windows users may or may not see this.

horrible company, decent cooler.

CORSAIR Hydro Series H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
CORSAIR Hydro Series H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Pros: looks neat. works fine.

Cons: documentation, lack of contact info for the company. incorrect information provided by company, and basic company apathy towards it's customers.

Overall Review: there was only 1 little problem. just one. the molex/mini-molex cable set. not sure where to connect it. Mainboard? mains power? either or? no clear documentation, and NONE regarding power source. and support is e-mail only. I WAS going to recommend we purchase a bulk batch of these. but now... no. not if this is how corsair treats it's customers. I want to make it clear. this is a VERY good product... but I will not condone poor customer relations and lack of proper customer accessible documentation. I recommend NOT buying this product unless you are comfortable being a barcode.

Perfectly acceptable solution...

Acer V213HBJbd 21.5" 1920 x 1080 D-Sub, DVI LCD Monitor
Acer V213HBJbd 21.5" 1920 x 1080 D-Sub, DVI LCD Monitor

Pros: Adequate brightness, nice overall viewing angle, the color brightness levels seem to be uniform over 3 displays, and I even like the color!

Cons: none really...

Overall Review: It's getting hard to find a plain display these days... most manufacturers like to "frame" the display in bulky and shiny plastics. when you have multiple displays as I do, then the additional plastics just detract from the overall build and make things just plain messy. These displays have no more or less plastic than needed to cover the hardware. they are squarely assembled so an array of displays will neatly align one to the other, even in stacks. quick note: though I know it'll void any warranty, I still plan to remove the plastic housing from these displays for 2 reasons: 1 - less bulk (I'm a true minimalist) 2 - easier heat dissipation. 6 displays can get a little warm.